THE APOLOGY TOUR CONTINUES…. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) has spent a whole lot of time apologizing lately, but he apparently believes repetition is the key to forgiveness. Today, the scandal-plagued conservative, who I believe is in the midst of yet another vacation from his duties, has an 800-word op-ed in The State, South Carolina’s largest newspaper, in order to let folks know he’s still really, really sorry.
Most of the piece details all of the many valuable lessons Sanford has learned since he humiliated himself. He’s gained “perspective” and learned “what really matters.” He’s come to realize that “forgiveness and grace really do matter.” He’s been “humbled and broken as never before,” which in turn will make him “a better father, husband, friend and advocate.”
So, anything in there about the governor bowing out gracefully? Apparently not.
It’s in the spirit of making good from bad that I am committing to you and the larger family of South Carolinians to use this experience both to trust God in his larger work of changing me and, from my end, to work to becoming a better and more effective leader.
I think all that has transpired will be particularly relevant in the way I deal with the legislative body and other state leaders going forward. Micah 6:8 asks us to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly, and as I begin these steps into the last 18 months of this administration, it will indeed be with a more contrite and humble spirit.
I’ve realized that as much as I have and will continue to advocate for things ranging from restructuring to responsible spending to school choice, my approach needs to be less about my will and more about looking for ways to more humbly present the greater principals [sic] and ideas at play.
Sanford will, in other words, keep pushing the same conservative agenda, but this time, with a meeker, “less strident” persona. The embarrassment — for Sanford and the state — will continue.
It’s not altogether clear what the point of the op-ed is. Politically, Sanford was likely to keep his job anyway, now that his party is prepared to “move on” and talk of impeachment has subsided.
Presumably, the goal was to just keep the apologies coming, while letting the political world know that the governor won’t go away until his term is complete.